UFC fighters with the fewest number of fights are about to see a slight Reebok pay increase under the promotion’s outfitting policy — but will have increased media duties.
On Friday, the UFC distributed an updated version of its Promotional Guidelines to its entire roster of fighters. Among the changes to the policy are increased payouts from the Reebok outfitting deal to some fighters, as well as additional promotional requirements. ESPN was first to report the news.
The biggest news is the updated outfitting pay guidelines. In 2015, the UFC embarked on a six year deal with Reebok, making them the exclusive provider of UFC uniforms, and the only sponsor on them. That eliminated the sponsorship market for fighters in the UFC, at least during fight week. The deal has been a hot button topic over the past two years, with several fighters citing it as a reason for leaving the company.
Previously, UFC fighters in their first five bouts in the promotion received $2,500 in sponsorship pay from the outfitting policy. For those fighting in their sixth to tenth bout, $5,000 was paid out. In total, the UFC boasted seven tiers under the outfitting policy, with the highest being reserved for champions, who earn $40,000 per fight.
Under the updated policy, fighters with one to three fights in the promotion will now receive $3,500 per bout. Those in their fourth and fifth fights will receive $5,000. No changes will be made to other tiers. The new structure looks like this:
1-3 Fights: $3,500
4-10 Fights: $5,000
11-15 Fights: $10,000
16-20 Fights: $15,000
21 Fights and Above: $20,000
Title Challengers: $30,000
UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein was quoted by ESPN as saying that “This gives the shorter-tenured fighters on our roster an increase.”
“We felt this was the most impactful, meaningful way to get more money to our athletes.”
Also in the updated UFC Promotional Guidelines are expanded promotional duties for fighters. These include four days of “advance” media promotions, plus six hours of “fight week” promotion. An hour of “postfight” promotion is also required by all UFC athletes.
Main and co-main event fighters have additional requirements, including granting UFC camera access eight days prior to a fight. Twice yearly, the UFC can also request a one-day, eight-hour commercial shoot.
Wonder how Conor McGregor feels about that. It’s not that long ago the star was yanked from UFC 200 for failing to fulfill media obligations.